Midget racer Rob McMullen update 2001-08-21

Etobicoke, Ontario, resident Robbie McMullen, who suffered a broken neck July 28 during a TQ (three-quarter) Midget race at Peterborough Speedway, remains in intensive care at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre in Toronto. The eighteen-year-old...

Etobicoke, Ontario, resident Robbie McMullen, who suffered a broken neck July 28 during a TQ (three-quarter) Midget race at Peterborough Speedway, remains in intensive care at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre in Toronto.

The eighteen-year-old has undergone two major surgeries to reinforce his neck the latest being completed on August 10. Both were long and difficult operations lasting approximately seven hours. As a result of these surgeries, McMullen's neck is now being supported by a collar replacing the halo that has held his head ridged for the past few weeks. Removal of the cumbersome and uncomfortable halo has served as a great comfort to Robbie.

While McMullen's spinal injury has been stabilized, he has twice battled pneumonia and remains on a respirator to assist in his breathing. There is concern that when the respirator tube is removed, Robbie may need a tracheotomy to help him breath during his recovery.

On August 14, Robbie sat in a wheelchair for a short period of time and there was great excitement surrounding the encouraging news that Robbie had shown motion in his arms and shoulders. The spirited youngster is alert and aware of his condition, and despite the severity of his injury, he has remained strong and positive, communicating the fighting spirit so admired by those who know him.

The family has received myriad cards and well wishes from friends, speedways and racers across the country, and from his home community. The McMullen family wishes to thank all for the tremendous support and they will continue to acknowledge all in the future.

A website has been set up at www.rocket-robbie.com to provide current information on Robbie's condition and messages of support may be sent via the site. Contributions toward Robbie's rehabilitation and future care may be made to The Robbie McMullen Trust Fund, TD Canada Trust Bank, account # 0235-522207.

-MJC

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Series Midget